Life in Poetry reading, writing, reflecting

Life in Poetry reading, writing, reflecting
April showers bring May flowers

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

⌗AtoZ challenge, April 17th, letter O

Here is my contribution to the A to Z Challenge of April 2019.
This is the first time I am participating in this challenge, so we'll see if I have the stamina to complete the whole month !

I am also, very ambitiously, writing for the April NaNoWriMo ! So the challenge is
twofold !! But I'm behind in the NaNoWrite, 1500 words out of 10 000 because I'm concentrating on research and building bridges with my contacts.

Hang on to your horse and enjoy the ride. And good luck to all my fellow participants.



In keeping with Tarkabarka Hölgy's post today (thank you, by the way for hosting),
I would like to thank all you Wonderful Bloggers who are still hanging in there and visiting my blog. I would like to apologize for not visiting the master list more often and to those for whom I have not left comments (although I have, but due to a computer glinch (glich ?), the blog did not accept my Google account post. This only happened on Blogger, on Wordpress, it recognises me immediately!). Just now, my mouse conked out, had to go recharge the battery: technology getting back at me for critisizing it. The World works in Mysterious ways.

If you would like to know more about this challenge or participate in the future go here

O is for Origins. 

Thank you to Roland Clarke, my long distant cousin, for prompting the idea by his comments on letter K.   

Up, Up, Up and Away
In my Beautiful Balloon.
Green Christmassy Carpet
and icy Apartment.

Boiling water falling
from the Angry 2nd floor.
Holding Hands 
with Alice Brake.

So long the road Home.
Stingy building.
Roller-Skating on pebbled ground.
Saving up for a Bag of Marbles.

Golden trees and long green alleys.
Walking about in this lifeless town.
Watching the Walls go up.
Choosing the yellow-flowered wallpaper.

Meeting Sophie by the letterbox.
Best friends at first sight.
Lost to years and growing up.
You can't fight where you belong.

A poem I wrote in 2002 in my early morning notebook. It sits on the shelf of my night table, open at this page. This is the first time I have typed it up, although I had my first IMac in 2001.


My Father was FRENCH, half- 'Breton', half- 'Brie'.
Jean-Louis Baury, son to Robert Baury and Louise Colombelle, born in 1931 in Rabat, Morocco.
My Mother is English, half-Yorkshire, half-London.
Patricia Dunkley, daughter to Albert Dunckley and Kathleen Arter, born in 1932 in Bournemouth, Dorset.
They were married in Bournemouth in 1956. They lived in Paris. My father worked for American Express Travels. My mother, at UNESCO as a trilingual translator of reports: English, French and German, after having worked for NatWest in Bournemouth for 5 years.
They moved to L' Etang-la-Ville, West of Paris, near the Fôret de Marly, when my sister, Kathleen Louise Baury was born on 13th of May 1962 in Poole (My mother made the trip so that her daughter would have English nationality as well as French). My mother stopped working and they lived Happily Ever After !

Not so lucky. In 1965, along came another...daughter: me. Susan Françoise Baury, on the 13th of ........April, in Poole, Dorset (same story). It's my grand-mother Louise who wanted to call me Françoise. Maybe they were expecting a boy and she had thought of François, very French....' Les Francs ' to counteract the fact that her only son had chosen an English girl, of all people ! The Hundred Years War still beating strong !

When I was 3 months old, we moved to NICE on the Côte d' Azur for my Papa's work. In July 1966, we moved to New York, Staten Island: as the Dutch said, when they discovered and colonised New Amsterdam, " Is Taten Island ? " (Brooklyn humour), no offence to all you Dutch Bloggers.
Papa was then working for the French Line: planning the crossings for the FRANCE, Le Havre - New York and its cruises in the Caribbean mostly, until its Round the World trip in 1974. I crossed the Atlantic on the ship and went to the Caribbean . I remember coming down the gangway in Barbados and being fascinated by the musicians on their tin drums : the image stuck although I have never been back to the Caribbean. Definitely on my bucket list ! My mother says I can't possibly remember (I was 2 and a half) but what does she know, she can't see inside my head, Thank God ! (or whoever...)

In July 1971, we made our last crossing on " Papa's boat " as my sister used to call the FRANCE, even in front of his boss ! This is the crossing I remember, I was six and a bit. There was a sea-water pool on the ship and that was all I could think about as we unpacked in our cabin. I was fighting with my sister over who would get the upper bunk bed and I fell on my back, wind knocked out. Mummy said I couldn't go to the pool, I had to recover in the cabin. I made such a fuss, saying I was alright, that I went anyway. After a few laps,    good thing I could swim (we had gone to the YWCA in New York) as the pool had no shallow end and was deeply sunk to ensure there was no risk of spillage in unclement weather,   I felt sick and had to be dragged from the water.
One evening, we were allowed to go to dinner with the adults in the fabulous first class dining hall. For dessert, I ordered Crêpes Suzette, to the horror of Mummy and the amusement of Papa. The waiter came and performed the ritual in front of me, with his saucepan, his bottle of Grand Marnier and his lighter ! I was over the moon !

We arrived in Le Havre and went straight to Paris. For the rest of July we stayed in a hotel in St Germain-en-Laye called 'Le Cèdre'. Our furniture would take 2 months to arrive by container and ship, at least one container. We would have to wait a whole year for the second, in which there was...my bicycle ! Boo-hoo ! August we spent in Bournemouth with my grand-father and Auntie Ann, who lived together in Mummy's childhood home in Parkstone, Wharfdale Road.
In September, we moved into a horrible flat in Maisons-Lafitte, West of Paris, near the Seine.
After 5 years in New York, I could read and write in English ( when I opened my mouth, however, I spurted a broad Brooklyn accent, so much so that Dilys Barré who interviewed me for the British Section of the Lycée International, said to my mother that she should put me into the American Section. She said NO). I couldn't speak a word of French. ( My parents always spoke English at home. My father's English was so much better than my mother's French when they met, so it just became the language of the home ). My sister had forgotten all the French she had learnt in Paris and Nice, so we were equals in that respect.
I started 1st Grade (I had gone to Kindergarten in Great Kills), 11ème in France (now CP, Cours Préparatoire), in September 1971. The first day, I walked into class with Alice Brake, who was new too and we stayed best friends until she moved to Portugal in 1976. She gave me my cat, Tibby, a kitten of her own cat. Tibby died in 1985 when I was in my first year of Business school in Lille. I was stricken.
In July 1972, we moved to Chambourcy, a village on a hill, just outside of St Germain-en-Laye     (where the Lycée International was).
We finally had a house, with a garden. I met Sophie François by a letter box one day, while we were visiting the house under construction. We were a gang, the two of us. The others children called us " Les Siouses ". I lived there until September 1984, when I went off to Business School in Lille, North of France.
©susanbauryrouchard

Thank you for reading and bearing with me ! Have a nice A to Z, ' O ' day. Please feel free to leave a comment, whatever crosses your mind, and I will be sure to reply.


Brilliant sunshine this morning, here in Toulouse, France. The Westerly wind has now brought clouds from the Atlantic. The tulips have bloomed, their petals swept away. The yellow roses are out, the red ones are 'teething' !


     For Sonia, from a Hundred Quills.     

in 1974, from the Card Game

landmarks list, my hand-writing. Notice the Franglais !                                                                             

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